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(Proposal) Sign Weber to offer sheet, 1-year $10M+


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A one year offer sheet is the best way to get Weber to Vancouver, and also the most dangerous threat to the Predators.

Here's the crux (and somebody please correct me if I'm wrong): I believe that when a player is retained by his own team after having signed an offer sheet from another team, then that player cannot be traded until one year after having signed the contract to stay with his current team. Therefore, even if Nashville matches our offer sheet, it would work in our favour while putting Nashville in a very difficult spot.

If Weber is retained by the Predators on a one year contract with a stipulation that he cannot be traded for a year, then it guarantees that Weber will hit free agency next summer. At that point, we'd likely have a good chance to sign him. So effectively, this strategy presents Nashville with the risk - a year in advance - that they lose Weber for nothing. Especially if Suter signs elsewhere in the coming days, I doubt Nashville would care to take that gamble.

So signing Weber to a one-year offer sheet would see that either we acquire him immediately or have a shot at him in free agency in a year's time.

The one, glaring downside to this strategy is that I believe Nashville would receive four first round picks from us as compensation should we sign Weber to an offer sheet of this size and Nashville declines to match. I think it'd be worth it. However, it may first be worth exploring trade options, to see whether we can acquire Weber for a price more palatable than four consecutive first rounders. Given the threat of the offer sheet, Nasvhille may well be eager to go the trade route as well, so they can get something more tangible and immediate in return for their captain and star.

EDIT: I checked the compensation ranges for signing RFAs:

  • $6,268,176 – $7,835,219: Two 1st’s, a 2nd and a 3rd round draft pick.

  • Over $7,835,219: Four 1st round draft picks.

http://www.mynhltraderumors.com/2011/05/26/compensation-for-signing-a-nhl-restricted-free-agent/

If Weber indeed wants to play here, he might sign an offer sheet for one year at $7-7.8M. If we could get him in that range, with compensation being two 1st's, a 2nd and a 3rd, I think it'd be a no-brainer.

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To put 4 first round picks in tangible terms: Hodgson/Kassian + Schroeder + Jensen + Gaunce, except none of them would be NHL-ready for at least another 3 years (with one of them not even draft-eligible for another 4 years).

That would indeed be a king's ransom. However, assuming they are not looking to rebuild, I bet Nashville would prefer to go the trade route. I bet they would want roster players and NHL-ready prospects instead. So Gillis can call Poile and say, "Let's make a trade. Otherwise, I'm going to sign Weber to an offer sheet. And you know he wants to play here and nowhere else." Gillis would therefore have substantial leverage in the negotiation.

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Name two players that could reasonably be retained for the same amount of money as Weber and have an impact as great as Weber.

Also consider that the $10M would be for only one year. After that, a more cap-friendly, long-term deal would be negotiated. And, who knows? He could sign an offer sheet for $7.5M or $8M.

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Its a completely unnecessary risk.

Why would we offer him a 1 year from the get go? Why would we not give him a multi-year deal? And if he would only sign a 1-year, that gives the impression that he may not want to stay here long term.

We could probably just trade for his rights, and give up less, or wait until he is a UFA.

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With the Garrison signing, the Canucks now have 5 left-handed defensemen and 2 right-handed defensemen. Edler is now expendable. If Nashville wants him, I bet Edler will be traded for Weber. If Nashville doesn't want him and Weber can be acquired nonetheless, I bet Edler will be traded to another team.

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